I hear the familiar sound of cutlery echoing off plates and the murmurs of morning as my fellow guests can’t wait any longer to have breakfast. It was 9.30am and the white morning light was peeking around the corner of the curtains in my cabin. Just a few steps to the dining room and a smorgasbord of fruit, yoghurts, and pastries. Before I can order Jerome’s homemade hollandaise sauce with an egg and bacon topping, Doc Mike joins us with a friendly smile and an offer of humpback whales feeding off Hanse’s bow.
Bremen - January 07, 2015
Back in October 2014 we had the pleasure to have the Pristine Seas team of National Geographic on board of our Hanse Explorer. The Pristine Seas project under the direction of Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala is determined to assist with the protection of the ocean’s last wild places.
Bremen - July 09, 2013
Still with excitement we think of our 2012 expedition to the most remote island in the world: Bouvetoya!
We are looking forward to the launch of their movie: The Beginning is the End. But for the moment we enjoy watching the trailer.
Thanks to the Nomads and their Expedition pour le future for those wonderful memories!
Ship's Blog - July 01, 2013
After the anchor has been lifted at 8 AM, HANSE EXPLORER makes her way north towards Sundsvollsundet – a very narrow passage bordering nice bird cliffs to the north. During our passage we can spot two sea eagles besides the hundreds of kittywakes nesting on the cliffs.
Ship's Blog - June 30, 2013
This morning, we wake up looking at waterfalls! There are two major waterfalls in the back of Hellemobotn. This fjord cuts so deeply into the mountains towards the Swedish border, that in a matter of hours a good hiker can cross the border here and visit Norway’s principle neighbor country Sweden.
Ship's Blog - June 29, 2013
After a few rain showers the day before, today the skies were still a bit grey in the early morning, but the sun was announced to come out during the day. All mountain peaks were well visible – great conditions for our planned hike into the national park.
Ship's Blog - June 28, 2013
After some of the guests had a short stroll through Henningsvaer, we leave our anchorage towards Trollfjorden. Trollfjorden is a very narrow, steep-sided fjord which is a popular cruise-stop for the coastal Hurtigruten ships, but also for many other ships and tour boats. The fjord walls are so steep sided, that a ship could nearly “go alongside” these walls. It is a nice place to have some fun from the ship and do something totally unexpected: approach the fjord sides so closely that a flower can be picked off the shore from the bow of the ship.
Ship's Blog - June 27, 2013
Today is a different day on this charter; different because today MY LAIKA is in the center of attention. Behind Reine lays a very nice fjord – called Kjerkfjorden. Unfortunately the road bridge over the fjord entrance has only a vertical clearance of 12 meters – not enough for HANSE EXPLORER to pass. So the idea is to get all guests on board LAIKA for a little day cruise into this 5 mile deep fjord. LAIKA leaves in the morning and lunch is served on board LAIKA on the upper deck. The day is the most beautiful yet weather-wise: sunshine and almost 20 degrees Celsius. It’s a true summer day in the Lofoten.
Ship's Blog - June 26, 2013
This morning we have our largest stretch of open water to cross yet: the 50 nautical miles between the Norwegian mainland and the Lofoten. This area can be occasionally rough, but the weather is in our favor this time: it’s dead flat and so we have a calm morning at sea and time for our guests to recover from the previous busy days full of hikes and action.
Ship's Blog - June 25, 2013
Just before 10:38 local time, HANSE EXPLORER approaches the polar circle. Traditionally this is celebrated with a glass of champagne for the guests. Everyone looks at the GPS where soon the latitude 66 Deg 33 Min North will be displayed. The oldest guest has the honor to sound the horn when passing the circle. 66 deg 33 Min it is at 10:38, but the ship’s horn stays silent. A quick disappointment followed by a call to the chief engineer. A few minutes only, the call comes back: the horn is working now, condensation water drained from the air pipe. Aha! We do have a second passage of the circle while heading into Melfjorden – but this time southbound. This time the horn works! Great!
Ship's Blog - June 24, 2013
The day starts with a stunningly beautiful sunrise. To be exact, the sun did only set for about one hour behind a little island across the bay. As we heave up anchor at 8 AM, the sky starts to get increasingly dark towards the south. While heading north towards Torghatten, the mountain with the hole in the top, the rain catches up with us and it starts pouring down on us – just in time for the hike. We could call that bad luck or just “Norway weather”. We can still motivate almost the entire group to hike up to the hole – roughly a 200m elevation gain on a steep narrow path uphill. At least today the hole is there for a reason: to give the group a break from the rain. Just as everyone returns to the ship, the rain stops – the clouds have moved past us towards the north – we could call that “irony”.
Ship's Blog - June 23, 2013
We wake up to a beautifully calm morning. The wet low clouds from the previous rainy day are just starting to lift up. Sandvika is a great first introduction to the beauty of coastal Norway. The little bay is fringed by steep-sided cliffs and there is a grassy plain with some typical colorful Norwegian cabins in the back of the bay. A stunning wild river runs down from the surrounding heights into the sea – sometimes cascading downstream over the rocks creating little waterfalls. We take the guests ashore and onto a hike along the river. The kids have a chance to run through the wild birch forest and get their feet wet in the river. The weather starts to clear up and when the hikers return to the beach, the sun breaks through the clouds adding some warmth and color to this nice place.
Ship's Blog - June 22, 2013
Just before noon time, the first guests arrive on board. All crew is anxiously awaiting the first charter of the season up north. It is nice to be back to working with our clients as a contrast to maintenance and overhaul work. Norway is a gorgeous cruise area and personally I have never ever done a disappointing trip up the Norwegian coast with its spectacular fiords and islands: Norway is certainly one of the most beautiful cruise destinations in the world and definitively the most spectacular expedition destination in Europe together with Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard.
Ship's Blog - June 21, 2013
After almost two months of shipyard and overhaul works, the HANSE EXPLORER is finally ready again for the Arctic charter season. This year’s overhauls have been so far the most extensive yet: the main engine was almost completely dismantled and overhauled after an impressive 30000 hours in service in only 6 years. The propeller was removed, the propeller shaft was pulled out, shaft bearings were removed and replaced and even the crankshaft bearings of the main engine were renewed. Safety equipment received its annual service by shore personnel; yearly inspections by the classification society “German Lloyd” were performed and even hotel equipment like coffee machines and laundry equipment received their annual service.
Ship’s Blog - February 18, 2013
Our adventure began on the 12th of February in Port Stanley, the small capital of the Falkland Islands, where we picked up our guests. This was their second voyage on the Hanse Explorer and we were happy to welcome them back. Excited to be on board the ship again, our guests came prepared for full days of film shooting and were ready to get their trip into Antarctica underway. The first challenge came before departure; 96 boxes and cases of professional film and photo equipment had to be loaded, stored and safely secured for a possibly rough sea passage.